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  1. Last 7 days
    1. I regularly get people coming to me and asking me to write a book. I always pass because I can’t imagine writing in a format that has an end. I can’t imagine writing in a format that doesn’t provide instant feedback. I can’t imagine writing in a format that requires a structure. I can’t imagine writing in a format that isn’t a stream of consciousness. I can’t imagine thinking about what I am going to write more than ten minutes before writing it. I can’t imagine killing trees to carry my words. So I will continue to write a blog. It’s the perfect format for me. AVC is way more than a book. It is a living breathing thing that sustains me and that is me.
  2. Jun 2020
    1. It's all magnified because the ones who are most extreme have the most sway on social media platforms, but its not REAL.
  3. May 2020
  4. Apr 2020
    1. If paralysis ended once you walked out of the Capitol, we wouldn’t have a housing crisis. We’d have better social insurance infrastructure. We’d have better infrastructure, period. But it doesn’t. Report Advertisement To put the question simply: Why is Penn Station, the flagship rail station in New York City, such a dump? Why can’t the richest city in the richest nation in the world have, at the very least, a train station with seating, some nice restaurants, working elevators, and an absence of human waste falling through the ceiling? Marc Dunkelman spent years cataloging the many failures to revamp Penn Station, a number of which came complete with hefty doses of federal funding. Each time, the story was the same: Plenty of people who wanted to build, and plenty of money with which to build, but too many people with vetoes who simply didn’t want the building to happen.

      "vetocracy"

    1. Once this securitization accelerates, ARR securities will become the next bond-like asset class for both institutions and individuals – irresponsible not to have some in your portfolio, as a fixed income product and a balance against equities. And who will make this market? Sand Hill Sachs.

      "As Alex Danco highlighted in his recent article Debt is Coming, it is clear that recurring revenue securitization – the notion of selling your future ARR bookings at a discount – is the future. "

    1. Fascinating especially in discussing how use of data science allows psychological distancing from the actual task: predatory loaning

      Capital One collects $23 billion in interest per year—an average that works out to $181 from each family in America. Of course, not every family has a Capital One account, and most public surveys say roughly half of people with credit cards pay them in full and accrue no interest. So simple math tells you that many families are paying Capital One at least $800 in interest every year.

      People at Capital One are extremely friendly. But one striking fact of life there was how rarely anyone acknowledged the suffering of its customers. It’s no rhetorical exaggeration to say that the 3,000 white-collar workers at its headquarters are making good money off the backs of the poor. The conspiracy of silence that engulfed this bottom-line truth spoke volumes about how all of us at Capital One viewed our place in the world, and what we saw when we looked down from our glass tower. This is not meant to offer a broad-brush indictment of business at Capital One; it is hardly the only corporation that has been ethically compromised by capitalism. It is, however, meant to shine a few photons of light on the financial industry in a post-crisis age of acute inequality.

      Amid the daily office banter at Capital One, we hardly ever broached the essence of what we were doing. Instead, we discussed the “physics” of our work. Analysts would commonly say that “whiteboarding”—a gratifying exercise in gaming out equations on the whiteboard to figure out a better way to build a risk model or design an experiment—was the favorite part of their job. Hour-long conversations would oscillate between abstruse metaphors representing indebtedness and poverty, and an equally opaque jargon composed of math and finance-speak.

      If you were not familiar with the almanac of metaphors—many of which, as I understand it, were specific to Capital One—you would not follow the conversations. The “bathtub,” for example, denotes a loan portfolio, because it’s like water down the drain when you lose customers—either because they have closed their account or were fed up with Capital One or have involuntarily defaulted on their loan. When you spend tens of millions of dollars on marketing, that’s turning on the spigot for new water in your “bathtub.”

      It was common to hear analysts say things like, “I just love to solve problems.” But what they were really doing was solving something closer to puzzles. It’s clear to me, for example, that the janitor at my middle school solved problems when she cleaned up trash. It’s far less clear whether analysts at Capital One are solving problems or creating them. In either event, the work culture at this well-appointed lender of dwindling resort is pretty much designed to encourage former students of engineering or math to let their minds drift for a few years and forget whether the equations in front of them represent the laws of thermodynamics or single moms who want to pay for their kids’ Christmas gifts without having to default on their rent or utilities payments.

      Before I managed Capital One’s secured card product, I worked on what we called “Mainstreet proactive credit limit increases” or “Mainstreet pCLIP” for short. Mainstreet was yet another piece of euphemistic in-house jargon; it meant subprime. As for proactive credit limit increase, it meant raising the cap on how much someone is allowed to borrow—without getting their permission to raise the cap.

      The emails we used to send these “Mainstreet pCLIP” customers would go as follows: “Elena Botella, you’re a valued customer, and we want you to get more out of your card. So recently, your credit line was increased to $6550.00. This gives you more in your wallet, which gives you more flexibility. Thank you for choosing Capital One®. Enjoy your higher credit line.”

      At any bank, if you have a low credit score, you’re only likely to get a credit limit increase if you’re getting close to your existing credit limit. So if you got that email, you probably had a few thousand dollars of Capital One credit card debt at an interest rate of at least 20 percent. That implies you were probably paying Capital One around $40 in interest per month or more. You might want or need to borrow more money on top of what you’ve already borrowed, but I always thought it was a little bit sick for us to be telling people to “enjoy” their higher credit line. It felt more than a little like shouting, “Enjoy getting into more debt, suckers!” before disappearing in a cloud of smoke and speeding off in a Tesla.

      Capital One’s culture of experimentation also acted as a kind of buffer. Fast Company has reported that Capital One runs 80,000 experiments per year. As Christopher Worley and Edward Lawler III explain in the journal Organizational Dynamics, a bank like Capital One can randomly assign differing interest rates, payment options, or rewards to various customers and see which combinations are most profitable for any given segment of people. It’s not so different from how a pharmaceutical company might use a randomized control trial to test whether a new drug is effective, except that the results of the bank’s experiment will never get published, and instead of curing diseases, the bank is trying to extract more money from each customer. The use of experiments is itself an act of psychological distancing; it allows the analysts controlling the experiment to resolutely apply its findings as a profit-maximizing mandate without giving the strategy a name such as, oh, “predatory lending.”

      The rise of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence means that you don’t need venal corporate tycoons wearing Monopoly Man hats to grind the faces of the poor into the dirt. Under the data-driven directives of Capitalism 2.0, you can have a bunch of friendly data scientists who don’t think too deeply about the models they’re building, while tutoring low-income kids on the side. As far as they’re concerned, they’re refining a bunch of computer algorithms.

    1. 'Summary' (still 30m of reading LOL) of Sapiens; tl;dr: cooking + language + imagination + industrialization => progress/ society => collapse of the family

      Some scholars believe there is a direct link between the advent of cooking, the shortening of the human intestinal track, and the growth of the human brain. Since long intestines and large brains are both massive energy consumers, it’s hard to have both. By shortening the intestines and decreasing their energy consumption, cooking inadvertently opened the way to the jumbo brains.

      Yet the truly unique feature of our language is not its ability to transmit information about men and lions. Rather, it’s the ability to transmit information about things that do not exist at all.

      The first millennium BC witnessed the appearance of three potentially universal orders, whose devotees could for the first time imagine the entire world and the entire human race as a single unit governed by a single set of laws. Everyone was ‘us’, at least potentially. There was no longer ‘them’.

      The first universal order to appear was economic: the monetary order.

      The second universal order was political: the imperial order.

      The third universal order was religious: the order of universal religions such as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.

      Since all social orders and hierarchies are imagined, they are all fragile, and the larger the society, the more fragile it is. The crucial historical role of religion has been to give superhuman legitimacy to these fragile structures. Religions assert that our laws are not the result of human caprice, but are ordained by an absolute and supreme authority. This helps place at least some fundamental laws beyond challenge, thereby ensuring social stability.

      The Industrial Revolution turned the timetable and the assembly line into a template for almost all human activities. Shortly after factories imposed their time frames on human behaviour, schools too adopted precise timetables, followed by hospitals, government offices and grocery stores. Even in places devoid of assembly lines and machines, the timetable became king. If the shift at the factory ends at 5 p.m., the local pub had better be open for business by 5:02.

      This modest beginning spawned a global network of timetables, synchronised down to the tiniest fractions of a second. When the broadcast media – first radio, then television – made their debut, they entered a world of timetables and became its main enforcers and evangelists.

      The state and the market approached people with an offer that could not be refused. ‘Become individuals,’ they said. ‘Marry whomever you desire, without asking permission from your parents. Take up whatever job suits you, even if community elders frown. Live wherever you wish, even if you cannot make it every week to the family dinner. You are no longer dependent on your family or your community. We, the state and the market, will take care of you instead. We will provide food, shelter, education, health, welfare and employment. We will provide pensions, insurance and protection.’

    1. Anachronisms of the Constitution + consequences of an aging democracy => a legislature/politics built for "show"

      In a provocative June 2018 essay in Commentary, the political scientist Yuval Levin posited that 231 years on, Congress had acquired a problem James Madison never anticipated: a reluctance to compete with the other two branches of government in the exercise of power. Partisanship, he concluded, had displaced ambition to legislate. Senators and representatives, he wrote, now “see themselves as players in a larger political ecosystem the point of which is not legislating or governing but rather engaging in a kind of performative outrage for a partisan audience.” Levin didn’t put it this way, but he seemed to be suggesting that Congress had grown decadent, like fin de siècle Vienna, but without the solace of Sacher tortes.

      The U.S. doesn’t have a Politburo, but if you calculate the median age of the president, the speaker of the House, the majority leader of the Senate, and the three Democrats leading in the presidential polls for 2020, the median age is … uh … 77.

      None of this means a septuagenarian can’t function effectively as a political leader. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell are 79 and 77, respectively, and by all reports they’re operating at peak mental capacity. But to affirm that not all elderly people are impaired cognitively is very different from affirming that none is.

      Wisdom may be more valuable in the digital age than ever before, because the velocity of information and normative judgments on social media, cable news and elsewhere constantly threatens to make glib idiots of us all.

      But here’s the rub: The aging of America’s ruling class does not automatically increase its experience level. In presidential politics, notes Brookings Institution senior fellow Jonathan Rauch, political experience, which “used to be a selling point,” has “become a liability. Voters and the public have come to see experience as inauthenticity.”

      In a November 2015 Atlantic article, Rauch plotted experience level for presidential candidates from 1960 to 2012. His graph showed a clear increase in experience level among the losers and a corresponding decrease among the winners. Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter. George H.W. Bush won with more political experience than Michael Dukakis, but four years later lost to Bill Clinton, who had less. John McCain lost to Barack Obama, who’d been in national politics a mere four years.

      Donald Trump, who is 73, entered the Oval Office with no political experience at all. The single greatest mental compensation that age provides was therefore unavailable to the oldest president in American history.

      Old people really like to vote. In 2016, for instance, 71 percent of eligible elderly voters reported to the Census that they voted. For other age cohorts, the turnout percentages were 67 percent (aged 45-64), 59 percent (aged 30-44) and 46 percent (aged 18-29).

      You often hear older Americans complain that the younger generation, with its fixation on social media, can’t distinguish between fact and opinion, making it difficult for them to apply the critical thinking necessary to consume news and be responsible citizens. A 2018 Pew survey found that Americans do indeed experience great difficulty telling these two things apart: Given five factual statements and five statements of opinion, a majority of Americans couldn’t identify them properly.

      But younger Americans actually scored better on this test than older ones. Thirty-two percent of 18-49 year-olds were able to identify all five factual statements, and 44 percent were able to identify all five statements of opinion. Among the over-50 cohort, only 20 percent identified all five factual statements correctly, and only 26 percent did the same with the statements of opinion.

      The list of the Constitution’s anachronisms and ambiguities is long.

      Article One says Congress may “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,” phrasing that strictly limited the regulation of private business at the federal level until the New Deal, when the Supreme Court reversed itself and concluded the federal government’s power to regulate private business was pretty vast. Had the Founders grasped that the modern economy would all but eliminate purely local commerce—and that it could, unchecked, alter the very climate of planet earth—they might have had more to say on the subject. As things stand, the powers of the regulatory state are the subject of endless legal combat.

      Article Two says you must be a “natural born Citizen” to be president, which excludes for no apparent reason Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jennifer Granholm, who previously governed two of the nation’s most populous states. The racist “birther” movement that challenged the legality of Barack Obama’s presidency (and that ushered Donald Trump onto the national political stage) wouldn’t have been possible without Article Two.

      Article Two also established that presidents be elected through the Electoral College, an antique mechanism borrowed from the Holy Roman Empire that twice during the past two decades delivered the presidency to the popular-vote loser. Some people have a problem with that.

      The Second Amendment frames the right to bear arms within the context of “well-regulated” state militias that no longer exist, an ambiguity that the Supreme Court interpreted in 2008 to mean the Constitution protected the right to bear arms, after holding for the preceding seven decades that it did not. Had the Founders known the extent to which the nation would tear itself apart over the regulation of firearms more deadly than they ever imagined, they might have laid down a few broad parameters.

      And so on. None of this would matter much if our government were more amenable to reconsidering first principles, but that’s getting harder, too. The Constitution can be amended, and it has been, 27 times. But growing political polarization in recent years has made that difficult. Only two constitutional amendments were ratified during the past half-century (one giving 18-year-olds the right to vote and another, more anodyne amendment that makes it a little harder for Congress to give itself a raise).

    1. "What if most rich assholes are made, not born?"

      What if the cold-heartedness so often associated with the upper crust—let's call it Rich Asshole Syndrome—isn’t the result of having been raised by a parade of resentful nannies, too many sailing lessons, or repeated caviar overdoses, but the compounded disappointment of being lucky but still feeling unfulfilled? We’re told that those with the most toys are winning, that money represents points on the scoreboard of life. But what if that tired story is just another facet of a scam in which we’re all getting ripped off?

      In New York, I’d developed psychological defenses against the desperation I saw in the streets. I told myself that there were social services for homeless people, that they would just use my money to buy drugs or booze, that they’d probably brought their situation on themselves. But none of that worked with these Indian kids. There were no shelters waiting to receive them. I saw them sleeping in the streets at night, huddled together for warmth, like puppies. They weren’t going to spend my money unwisely. They weren’t even asking for money. They were just staring at my food like the starving creatures they were.

      The social distance separating rich and poor, like so many of the other distances that separate us from each other, only entered human experience after the advent of agriculture and the hierarchical civilizations that followed, which is why it’s so psychologically difficult to twist your soul into a shape that allows you to ignore starving children standing close enough to smell your plate of curry. You’ve got to silence the inner voice calling for justice and for fairness. But we silence this ancient, insistent voice at great cost to our own psychological well-being.

      When volunteers in their studies placed the interests of others before their own, a primitive part of the brain normally associated with food or sex was activated. When researchers measured vagal tone (an indicator of feeling safe and calm) in 74 preschoolers, they found that children who’d donated tokens to help sick kids had much better readings than those who’d kept all their tokens for themselves. Jonas Miller, the lead investigator, said that the findings suggested “we might be wired from a young age to derive a sense of safety from providing care for others.”

      Psychologists Dacher Keltner and Paul Piff monitored intersections with four-way stop signs and found that people in expensive cars were four times more likely to cut in front of other drivers, compared to folks in more modest vehicles. When the researchers posed as pedestrians waiting to cross a street, all the drivers in cheap cars respected their right of way, while those in expensive cars drove right on by 46.2 percent of the time, even when they’d made eye contact with the pedestrians waiting to cross. Other studies by the same team showed that wealthier subjects were more likely to cheat at an array of tasks and games. For example, Keltner reported that wealthier subjects were far more likely to claim they’d won a computer game—even though the game was rigged so that winning was impossible. Wealthy subjects were more likely to lie in negotiations and excuse unethical behavior at work, like lying to clients in order to make more money. When Keltner and Piff left a jar of candy in the entrance to their lab with a sign saying whatever was left over would be given to kids at a nearby school, they found that wealthier people stole more candy from the babies.

      Books such as Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work and The Psychopath Test argue that many traits characteristic of psychopaths are celebrated in business: ruthlessness, a convenient absence of social conscience, a single-minded focus on “success.” But while psychopaths may be ideally suited to some of the most lucrative professions, I’m arguing something different here. It’s not just that heartless people are more likely to become rich. I’m saying that being rich tends to corrode whatever heart you’ve got left. I’m suggesting, in other words, that it’s likely the wealthy subjects who participated in Muscatell’s study learned to be less unsettled by the photos of sick kids by the experience of being rich—much as I learned to ignore starving children in Rajastan so I could comfortably continue my vacation.

      What we’ve been finding across dozens of studies and thousands of participants across this country,” said Piff, “is that as a person’s levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness, and their ideology of self-interest increases.”

      Institutions seeking to justify a fundamentally anti-human economic system constantly rebroadcast the message that winning the money game will bring satisfaction and happiness. But we’ve got around 300,000 years of ancestral experience telling us it just isn’t so. Selfishness may be essential to civilization, but that only raises the question of whether a civilization so out of step with our evolved nature makes sense for the human beings within it.

    1. The browser is the new OS.

      And Google controls it

      Standardization on something like Chrome/V8 is actually very useful for us, in this sense. We have a pretty good sense of how our Javascript will execute, where and how we can tighten up performance, and simulate the kind of experience most of our users will have.

      That said, I’m always conscious that we are living on someone else’s standards. Sure, Chromium and the V8 engine are open-source, but they still belong to Google in a way that, say, TCP/IP or IMAP does not.

      Google can distribute products on the web better than any other single company. When it placed a callout link to download Chrome right under its search bar, it effectively sealed IE’s demise. Nothing that Microsoft could do would ever reach as many potential users, or drive adoption, at anywhere near the same scale, and they eventually came to understand this.

      Google is paying Apple a cool $12 billion in 2019 to remain Safari’s default search engine, because the amount they make from all those searches (and the ads they support) is far greater.

    1. Technologies are not simply objects but architectures that organize our bodies in space and time.

      New technologies require us to develop new literacies. By developing such literacies, we train our bodies into habitual choreographies. When you learn to write, you are learning not just symbols but the hand motions that turn lines into letters. When you learn to type, you tether your hands to a keyboard, defining your motions in ways that have neurological and physiological effects. Research shows that writing in print, in cursive, or by typing are each associated with distinct brain patterns and significant learning outcomes. How we use our hands profoundly affects how we think.

      Digital interfaces exercise similar demands on our bodies. When you first acquire a smartphone, the interface is clunky. Each interaction feels contrived, each gesture an intrusion on your consciousness. But as you rehearse these movements, they become second nature. Like the alphabets your hands write into existence, each of these gestures has assigned meanings. As you achieve fluency with them, these gestures become units of the communication structure you form with your device. When you reach instinctively for your phone, it only takes a few unconscious flicks of your thumb to navigate past the lock screen and into your web browser or messaging app. At the same time, you attain a fluency particular to that brand—when your fingers know an iPhone, it’s pretty jarring to use a friend’s Galaxy.

    1. Authors of Empty Planet argue global population will start to decline in 30Y, versus UN estimate of 11B in 2100 (40% growth)

      UN forecasting model inputs three things: fertility rates, migration rates, and death rates. It doesn’t take into account the expansion of education for females or the speed of urbanization (which are in some ways linked). The UN says they’re already baked into the numbers. But when I went and interviewed [the demographer] Wolfgang Lutz in Vienna, which was one of the first things we did, he walked me through his projections, and I walked out of the room gobsmacked. All he was doing was adding one new variable to the forecast: the level of improvement in female education. And he comes up with a much lower number for global population in 2100, somewhere between 8 billion and 9 billion.

      Lutz has this saying that the most important reproductive organ for human beings is your mind. That if you change how someone thinks about reproduction, you change everything. Based on his analysis, the single biggest effect on fertility is the education of women. The UN has a grim view of Africa. It doesn’t predict much change in terms of fertility over the first quarter of the century. But large parts of African are urbanizing at two times the rate of the global average. If you go to Kenya today, women have the same elementary education levels as men. As many girls as boys are sitting for graduation exams. So we’re not prepared to predict that Africa will stagnate in rural poverty for the rest of the century.

      We polled 26 countries asking women how many kids they want, and no matter where you go the answer tends to be around two. The external forces that used to dictate people having bigger families are disappearing everywhere. And that's happening fastest in developing countries. In the Philippines, for example, fertility rates dropped from 3.7 percent to 2.7 percent from 2003 to 2018. That's a whole kid in 15 years. In the US, that change happened much more slowly, from about 1800 to the end of the Baby Boom. So that’s the scenario we’re asking people to contemplate.

    1. I can't count the number of times I've heard a nature > nurture argument for intelligence (which leads onto many other conclusions) based on a similar sounding argument to...

      The argument that “some races are better at running” hence [some inference about the brain] is stale: mental capacity is much more dimensional and not defined in the same way running 100 m dash is.

    1. Interesting idea and anecdotal evidence (from awkward founders) that social skills can be learnt, and as a result that those without natural social skills may actually be at an advantage.

      To an extreme introvert, or to someone on the Asperger’s spectrum, social cues are easy to miss because they’re subtle. So awkward people learn to explicitly model them; they develop a body of theory around how to distinguish polite boredom from intense interest (I used to firmly believe that “Oh, yeah,” and “I see” were 100% reliable indicators that I should keep talking), or how to differentiate intellectual interest from outrage (the answer to “Wait, really?!” should not necessarily be “Yeah, and furthermore…”).[1]

      Having an explicit rather than implicit model of human behavior is generally a liability. In Kahneman’s terms, you’re using System Two to patch over deficiencies in System One. But this has one advantage: it lets you break down interactions into their atomic components. So when the same interactions happen over a different medium — friendship, hatred, jealousy, love; all of these have moved online in a big way — the System Two people are working off a formal spec, while System One people are looking at a black box.

      The best evidence for this is the fact that most of the awkward-founder stories I’ve mentioned are a decade old. If you watch interviews with these executives today, you hear a polished, well-rehearsed, in-control executive. They’re not naturals, but they practiced, and practice is just the art of putting effort into making something look effortless. If you’re a natural public speaker and a good conversationalist, you’re probably already at the ceiling for your skills, but if you’re not a natural, you’ll consistently improve — you’re not just doing things, you’re trying things and seeing what works.

      It might seem like a liability if social cues and norms are opaque to you. But think of it this way: if they weren’t opaque, you wouldn’t see them.

    1. Aeon essay from an archaeologist/writer that unwinds how (the relatively new idea of) “cultural heritage” is often used as a front for vested interests, and other unintended consequences.

      Cases such as Mosul’s highlight a key fact about cultural heritage: it is not primarily about the past – as counterintuitive as that might be. It is about the present. Heritage harnesses the power of the past to justify present social relations, especially relations of power. Governments trample over the lives and needs of individuals and communities, the wealthy convert their dubiously acquired wealth into cultural capital, all in the name of that heritage. And in our conviction that we must protect the remains of the past, the rest of us are often swept up in the enthusiasm. We don’t even question the relatively new idea of cultural heritage – that the remains of history are to be unquestionably treasured as our inheritance from the past and must be preserved in their original state. Or that what typically counts as cultural heritage are major historic buildings and monuments, perfectly suited to be exploited as symbols of the powerful.

      Governments increasingly looked to remains of the distant past to bolster national identities and a sense of greatness, or to marginalise disfavoured groups. Saddam Hussein used the ruins of Babylon to spread ideas of Iraq’s greatness as well as his own, even portraying himself as a modern Nebuchadnezzar. China’s leadership has used archaeology to project national greatness onto the distant, semi-legendary past. Today, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has worked to use archaeology to prove that modern Hindus can trace their descent from the earliest inhabitants of India.

      Inscription of a site on the World Heritage List brings increased prestige and tourist dollars. With these comes increased pressure to remove longstanding communities. From Petra in Jordan, to Wuzhen and the old town of Lijiang in China, to Casco Viejo in Panama City and many more cases, World Heritage listing has brought evictions. In Chikan in China, thousands of residents are being forced out of their homes by a $900 million development plan to turn the old town into hotels and boutique shops for tourists visiting the nearby World Heritage site of Kaiping. But the houses of Chikan are themselves historic.

      Whether we look at political, economic or military capital, one thing is clear. Heritage is a top-down idea – it is defined and used by the most powerful members of society, rather than by society as a whole. Cultural heritage tells people – it does not ask them – what they should care about.

    1. Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t mention Zuckerberg’s 14-year-old messages about his first 4,000 users: “they ‘trust me... [dumb f**ks]’” as proof of his venality.

      A variety of polls—and disses by other CEOs—over the last year have shown the company has become increasingly unpopular, both in Silicon Valley and more broadly. Zuckerberg, as the metonym for the company, has been dragged, too. Whether or not it is fair, a CEO must be a company and vice versa, because that’s how things that are too big and too complex become understood. And so a vastly complicated health-care law becomes Obamacare.

      No matter what happens to Zuckerberg over the next few years, or how Facebook does or does not restore its image, Zuckerberg’s long-term fate is easy to predict. You, and most everyone else, will end up loving him. That may be hard to believe, but he has a close adviser who followed a startlingly similar path: Bill Gates.

      Dogged by European regulators and American competitors, accused of brutal business practices, Microsoft was the evil empire. The list of issues people took with Microsoft is as long as it is forgotten. The company was “undoubtedly the most hated company in its industry for three decades, and detested by many of its business customers, as well,” Harvard Business School professor emeritus Thomas Craw told The Daily Beast.

      Like Carnegie and Rockefeller, Stanford and Vanderbilt, if you give away enough money, your name eventually becomes synonymous with goodness, charity, wisdom, competence, even warmth.

  5. Jan 2020
  6. Apr 2019
  7. Mar 2019
    1. Activist teacher researchers, by contrast, begin with the assumption that there is much that they don’tknow about students. Like theorists who have highlighted the importance of regarding disability as “a social location, complexly embodied” (Siebers, 2008, p. 14) rather than an individual pathology, activisteducators take social location—their own and their students’—seriously. The normal curve model is by definition generic rather than local: Students are charted and evaluated from a distance
  8. Jan 2019
    1. Still, to focus only on this social evolutionary aspect misses less familiar forms of rhet-oricity.

      It is crucial to not approach topics with too narrow of a perspective. Considering other elements and points of view make for a more well-rounded individual and argument. When thinking of current political issues plaguing the United States, what might be an instance where broadening perspective would be beneficial?

    1. childhood whose playfulness can in turn be a blessing to society

      This reminds me of C. S. Lewis' appreciation of the child. Lewis believed children should be taken seriously and there is much to learn from a child's perspective. These beliefs were reflected in his works.

  9. Oct 2018
  10. Aug 2018
    1. Second, howtime is variously used in past constructions that givesense to what has occurred, in for example, nostal-gic tales that seek to sustain identity-relevant valuesand beliefs, or using time to leverage reformulationsin repositioning these tales, for example, with theaim of undermining nostalgia as a platform for resis-tance (see Brown and Humphreys 2002; Strangleman1999).

      Future research direction: Importance of reflexivity // Effects of Time Perspectives on sensemaking

      See: Zimbardo & Boyd's Time Perspectives

    1. Temporal focus is the degree of emphasis on the past, present, and future (Blue­dorn 2000e, p. 124).

      Temporal focus definition. Like temporal depth, both are socially constructed.

      Cites Lewin (time perspective) and Zimbardo & Boyd.

    2. However, Boyd and Zimbardo’s interest was not in comparing short-, mid-, and long-term temporal depths; rather, it was in examining the degree to which people were oriented to a transcendental future, and in exam­ining the extent to which this variation covaried with other factors such as age, gender, and ethnicity. This is a natural extension of the questions involved in research on general past, present, and future temporal orientations (e.g., Kluck- hohn and Strodtbeck 1961, pp. 13-15), orientations that at first glance appear similar to issues of temporal depth. However, as I have argued elsewhere in opposing the use of the temporal orientation label, these general orientations are more an issue of the general temporal direction or domain that an individ­ual or group may emphasize (Bluedorn 2000e) than the distance into each that the individual or group typically uses. The latter is the issue of temporal depth; the former, what I have called temporal focus (Bluedorn 2000e)

      Comparison of Bluedorn's thinking about temporal depth vs temporal focus instead of framing it as a temporal orientation (the direction/domain that an individual or group emphasizes in sensemaking).

      ZImbardo and Boyd use the phrase "time perspective" rather than temporal orientation

  11. Jul 2018
    1. Drawing on the theory of distributed cognition [5], we utilizerepresentational physical artifacts to provide a tangible interface for task planning, aural cues for time passage, and an ambient, glanceable display to convey status

      Is there a way to integrate dCog and a more sociotemporal theory, like Zimbardo & Boyd's Time Perspective Theory or some of Adam's work on timescapes?

    1. This conjecture leads us to promote the ideal of a “balanced TP” as most psycho-logically and physically healthy for individuals and optimal for societal functioning. Balance is defi ned as the mental ability to switch fl exibly among TPs depending on task features, situational considerations, and personal resources rather than be biased toward a specifi c TP that is not adaptive across situations. The future focus gives people wings to soar to new heights of achievement, the past (positive) focus establishes their roots with tradition and grounds their sense of personal identity, and the present (hedonistic) focus nourishes their daily lives with the playfulness of youth and the joys of sensuality. People need all of them harmoniously operating to realize fully their human potential.

      Balanced time perspective definition. Later called optimal time shifting in the Time Paradox book.

      What are the heuristics and/or design implications for evoking more ideal time shifting behaviors and outcomes?

    2. A further limitation of the generalizability of our scale may lie in its cultural relevance to individualist societies and their ambitions, tasks, and demands rather than to more collectivist, interdependent societies in which time is differently val-ued and conceptualized (Levine 1997 ). Obvious cross-cultural adaptations of the ZTPI are called for.

      Acknowledged limitations in the original paper note that students may be more future oriented and the scale was predominantly tested on Western individualist cultures.

      Later work has demonstrated that these concerns are not born out.

    3. Our scale also has dem-onstrated predictive utility in experimental, correlational, and case study research.

      The ZPTI is predictive of other psychological concepts -- emotional, behavioral, and cognitive -- that have temporal relationships.

      Temporality is a rare psychological variable that can influence "powerful and pervasive impact" on individual behavior and societal activities.

    4. The scale is based on theoretical reflection and analyses, interviews, focus groups, repeated factor analyses, feedback from experiment participants, discriminant validity analyses, and specifi c attempts to increase factor loadings and internal consistencies by item analyses and revisions.

      Claims the ZPTI is both valid and reliable due to mixed-method empirical study and factor analysis to establish measurable constructs and consistency of findings.

    5. State of Research on TP

      Critique of previous research as overly simplified, one-dimensional (focused on future or present states, ignored past) and lack of reliable and valid measures for assessing time perspectives.

    6. Thus, we conceive of TP as situationally determined and as a relatively stable individual-differences process.

      Identifies time perspective as both a state and a trait. This fits with the idea that time perspective shifting is possible and preferred. The argument also supports the later empirical work that people are unaware of their time perspective and how it influences/biases their thinking and behavior (both positive as in goal setting, achievement, etc., and negative as in addiction, guilt, etc.)

    7. Such limiting biases contrast with a “balanced time orientation,” an ideal-ized mental framework that allows individuals to fl exibly switch temporal frames among past, future, and present depending on situational demands, resource assess-ments, or personal and social appraisals. The behavior of those with such a time orientation would, on average, be determined by a compromise, or balancing, among the contents of meta-schematic representations of past experiences, present desires, and future consequences.

      A temporal bias results from habitual overuse/underuse of past, present or future temporal frames.

      Introduces the idea of optimal time shifting to incorporate various environmental forces.

    8. In both cases, the abstract cognitive processes of reconstructing the past and constructing the future function to infl uence current decision making, enabling the person to transcend compelling stimulus forces in the immediate life space and to delay apparent sources of gratifi cation that might lead to undesirable con-sequences.

      Core premise of Zimbardo and Boyd's time perspective theory diverges from Nuttin, Bandura and Carstensen's work.

      Time Perspective Theory posits that dynamic influences on present behavior and cognition comes from top-down abstract (past/future) ideas and bottom-up environmental forces (social, biological, sensory).

    9. More recently, Joseph Nuttin ( 1964 , 1985 ) supported the Lewinian time-fi lled life space, where “future and past events have an impact on present behavior to the extent that they are actually present on the cognitive level of behavioral functioning” ( 1985 , p. 54). Contemporary social–cognitive thinking, as represented in Albert Bandura’s ( 1997 ) self-effi cacy theory, advances a tripartite temporal infl uence on behavioral self-regulation as generated by effi cacy beliefs grounded in past experiences, current appraisals, and refl ections on future options. Behavioral gerontologist Laura Carstensen and her colleagues (Carstensen et al. 1999 ) have proposed that the perception of time plays a funda-mental role in the selection and pursuit of social goals, with important implications for emotion, cognition, and motivation.

      Related work that builds on Lewin's premise:

      Nuttin theorizes about the influence of past and future events on present behavior

      Bandura's position supports his self-efficacy theory that temporal influences affect a person's innate ability to exert control over one's behavior in order to achieve goals.

      Carstensen proposes that time perception influences choices, motives, and emotions about social goals.

    10. TP is the often nonconscious process whereby the continual fl ows of personal and social experiences are assigned to tem-poral categories, or time frames, that help to give order, coherence, and meaning to those events.

      Time perspective is an intuitive, unconscious process that people use for sensemaking in the present, recall of the past and to predict the future.

      In this view, the present is concrete where past and future are abstract.

    11. Lewin ( 1951 ) defi ned time perspective (TP) as “the totality of the individual’s views of his psychological future and psychological past existing at a given time” (p. 75).

      Lewin defined time perspective.

      Per Zimbardo/Boyd, Lewin's view incorporates a Zen-like present orientation that evokes a circular motion of time over the Western-centric linear/directional motion.

    1. And although an infinite number of patterns are possible, all strategies for engaging life’s activities fall along a con­tinuum known as polychronicity, a continuum describing the extent to which people engage themselves in two or more activities simultaneously. That this choice is fundamental is revealed by the fact that most people most of the time are unaware that they are even making it. This is because the choice of strategy results from a combination of culture and personality, both of which store these choices and preferences at deep levels, very deep levels. Nevertheless, a choice or a decision made unconsciously is still a choice or a decision

      Decision strategies, like polychronicity, are often intuitive and unconscious.

      Bluedorn mentions how culture and personality play a critical role in decision strategies. Potential intersection with Zimbardo's time perspective theory.

    1. appointment. Time chunksopen up the possibility for future-oriented temporal manipulation and valuation; they assumethat we are able to know, in advance, the duration of tasks and experiences.

      How does the idea of time chunks and future-orientation fit with:

      Reddy's temporal horizon concept? Zimbardo's future time perspective?

  12. Nov 2017
    1. From the perspective of African American writer and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates

      I highly recommend Coates and Noah in tandem. I inadvertently collided their writings and the resulting effect was profound (refracted perspective).

  13. Oct 2017
    1. To testify to a history of oppression is necessary, but it is not sufficient unless that history is redirected into intellectual process and universalized to include all sufferers. Yet too often testimony to oppression becomes only a justification for further cruelty and inhumanity,

      Here, Said is telling us that in order for history of oppression to have a purpose, it needs to be used in such a way where all of the voices of all of the oppressed can be heard or else we only hear the voices that justify tyranny. I think this is true and still remains true today, because if we only get that one part of history that has some justification, nothing changes. This is why history repeats itself; we don't look at exactly all of the suffering that happens.

    1. Hebrew

      It is fascinating that, from the University's founding, Hebrew was taught as one of the "antient" languages. As a current student in the Modern Hebrew program here at UVa, and as someone who has lived in Israel during a gap year, I have been exposed to contemporary Hebrew in a variety of settings. The ancient, Biblical Hebrew is much different than modern Hebrew, and undoubtably provides a unique perspective on the Jewish religion. Oddly enough though, the ancient Hebrew that the first students at UVa were studying was probably Aramaic, and not Hebrew, as that is the language seen in most Jewish ancient texts. Considering Hebrew as an ancient language places a historical and religious label on the language that is much different from the Hebrew spoken in Israel and across the world today.

  14. Sep 2017
  15. May 2017
    1. It's about finding good-tasting solutions to the growing list of problems caused by global food.

      More emphasis by Freidberg on the issues of global food.

    2. A tour of the modern fridge reveals a world of interdependencies and inequalities, forged through trade, conquest, and politics. It is a world of sharp contradictions between marketed ideals and industrial realities. Nothing is as pure or natural as we'd like, but there's no shutting the door on this world.

      More critical of the indirect impacts the fridge has had on moral values (makes sense b/c this book isn't really about refrigeration but fresh food, and in many ways food justice). Rees is more critical of the direct impacts of refrigeration such as climate change and calls for more innovation to address problems. Freidberg asks readers to reconsider the impact of refrigeration on our morals. Both drawn from their conclusion/epilogue.

  16. Apr 2017
    1. was extremely saddened to read of his children’s recent exposure to measles due the Disneyland outbreak. To read about my journey leaving the anti-vaccination movement, click here.

      Italicized text framing the rest of the article. Editor comments about this being an anti vaccination article. Notes their emotional response (sad) to the phenomena in the article.

  17. Mar 2017
    1. I have been accused of being hyperbolic and of wildly inflating conditions on the ground. I really do call them like I see them

      Call them like I feel them.

      How can we see without feeling?

    1. the British public's tolerance for poor orator

      are the British any more tolerant to a poor orator than anyone else? the modern average american i would argue also has a very very high tolerance for poor oration

  18. Feb 2017
    1. The API uses machine learning models to score the perceived impact a comment might have on a conversation.

      Interesting,

    1. Mi-Tuo Road, Chiayi City 600, Taiwan,

      This article initially caught my eye because it originated from an institution in Taiwan and was published by a British journal. I was intrigued by the chance to read an international perspective on constructivist instruction.

  19. Jan 2017
    1. And this body should be understood not as a body of doctrine but, rather —following an often evoked metaphor of digestion— as the very body of the one who, by transcribing his readings, has appropriated them and made their truth his own: writing transforms the thing seen or heard “into tissue and blood” (in vires et in sanguinem). It becomes a principle of rational action in the writer himself.

      Might be the asshole in me talking, but this sounds like a high school teacher talking. Either way, even though it's cliché, I appreciate this claim. Essentially, saying that we all take in information differently because we are all different. Just like how we digest food differently.

  20. Nov 2016
    1. a test of R.Q. would measure the propensity for reflective thought — stepping back from your own thinking and correcting its faulty tendencies.

      -Wisdom vs Intelligence

      -Cosmic Perspective (?).

  21. Oct 2016
    1. Marie

      The speaker of the poem (at least so far) is a woman, and therefore not the author or an author-insert indistinguishable from the author.

  22. Jan 2016
    1. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. Mark Twain

      Quote from Mark Twain

    1. I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.

      Quote from Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

  23. Feb 2014
    1. so that things done by man not be forgotten in time, and that great and marvelous deeds, some displayed by the Hellenes, some by the barbarians, not lose their glory

      Hdt. 1.1 motive; bias? H's idea of glory and great deeds? "not be forgotten in time" -- I agree this is important.

  24. Nov 2013
    1. And just as every porter wants to have an admirer, so even the proudest of men, the philosopher, supposes that he sees on all sides the eyes of the universe telescopically focused upon his action and thought.

      Of Man and God

    2. One might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how miserable, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect looks within nature

      metaphor with the purpose of "perspective"

  25. Sep 2013
    1. To this however the many cannot attain; and they blame the strong man because they are ashamed of their own weakness, which they desire to conceal, and hence they say that intemperance is base.

      The elitist perspective, which assumes that people rise and fall in positions of power and fortune through some unseen force of nature.